Leia and Mark are truly two of the most extraordinary individuals I have had the pleasure to work with. Here are the personal remarks that I shared with them and their guests:
I have an app on my iPod called Demotivational Pics, that follows the Dilbert tradition of making fun of the absurdities of corporate culture. It takes the tired idea of the corporate office, where all employees need to do their job well are some motivational pictures on the wall, and turns it on its head. From time to time, they actually violate their own rule, and show a really motivating picture, though decidedly not the type you would see in the dreary paper pushing abode. Usually, it shows someone doing some type of impossible feat, with the humor coming from the caption that says just this., "YOUR argument is invalid..."
I thought about this when I sat down to write about Leia and Mark. I thought I might actually make a little poster for myself of just Leia and Mark smiling at me with that very caption. Then whenever I had a particularly bad day, and felt really unable to deal with a specific challenge, I could pull out the little poster of Leia and Mark, and read out loud to myself, "Your argument is invalid..."
You see, Leia and Mark were each dealt a couple of bad hands along the way. When you are dealt a bad hand, one can really blame you for folding. It is understandable. Well, to each of these two understandable just didn't cut it. They looked at the hand they were each dealt, and they pushed their chips to the middle of the table, and said, "Your argument is invalid."
Here is the coolest thing about these two though. Sometimes, when one overcomes challenges, it can make one a little tone deaf to the challenges of others. After all, you might say to yourself, if I was able to overcome on my own, why can't this other person? Not, Leia and Mark, though. You could scarcely imagine a more tolerant and understanding couple. Just look at what they each do for a living, and you immediately can see, that they are all about holding themselves to the highest standard, while doing their best to lend a helping hand and giving a leg up to those less fortunate.
Leia and Mark, thank you for this double lesson. Thank you for strengthening our resolve to challenge ourselves, while helping others with the utmost compassion. May you continue to serve as such a wonderful example for others.